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The content of the line "Me papp!", despite it's implication of a wider abuse of Nagg

by Hamm and Clov, only has performative meaning in that Nagg wants papp now.

The specific desire and demand is not as irritating to Hamm as is the rhythmic,

schematic reality that Nagg exists on the stage. If Barney plays the hunger and

repression of Nagg, this becomes blurred. The larger pathos of Nagg must come

through as the composite of these "local" realities, which are not, on their own


I realize that this is nothing new. It is a reality of text in the theatre that is

applicable to most plays, but I had never seen it's necessity as clearly, nor felt it's

import so deeply.

At the other end of the spectrum were pieces of text that did indeed seem to

go to the heart of the matter. Each character has at least one moment in which there

is an expression of their actual condition in the content of the text.

Looking again at Nagg: What do we do with Nagg's speech following the

Chronicle?27In a sort of classical theatrical sense, the speech and the dramatic

ground which Nagg traverses in this section of the play are patently moving.

Starting the speech with the bitterness of being denied the sugar plum Hamm had

promised him, and ending it with the discovery of Nell's death; this is arguably the

most momentous dramatic moment of the play. The text of the speech is, in

contrast to the Chronicle, clear in terms of what Nagg is talking about. It would be

almost impossible to argue that Nagg is not talking about his relationship to Hamm

here. No vague hinting here. Nagg peals away the skin and exposes the raw nerve

of the paternal relationship. This action is clearly contained within the content of

the text itself.

Similarly Clov's final speeches are almost uncharacteristically straight-

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